So you used the SFPark app and found a parking space without circling the block for forever, but after parallel parking you realize you have no change to feed the meter.

Thanks to a new program, you no longer have to worry about having a roll of quarters constantly on hand. On December 14, San Francisco drivers were able use their phone to pay for a parking meter in the Castro for the first time. While the new PayByPhone program is currently only available in one neighborhood, it will be expanded throughout the City in the coming months.

The PayByPhone service lets you pay a parking meter by calling a toll-free number or using your smartphone app. The helpful app will also send you a text message when your meter is almost up. And you can add time without going back to your car.

However, for this convenience, users are charged a 45-cent fee for each transaction. You can tell if a meter is part of the PayByPhone program by looking for a blue PayByPhone sticker on the side of the meter. When you pay by phone, the amount will not register on a meter but the Department of Parking and Traffic officers will be able to tell if the meter has been paid for by phone.

San Francisco Needs More Gov 2.0

This Gov 2.0 move has the potential to be of real impact. Gov 2.0 is all about using technology to make government faster, smarter and more accessible. Paying by any phone is a useful parking tool, and the app’s warning of an impending parking ticket is a nice added bonus.

To use the service, call (866) 490-7275 or download the PayByPhone app at, then enter your meter number and how long you want to stay.

The first 5,000 people to register for the service will have their 45-cent fee waived for their first two transactions.